If you’re a small biz owner like me, you know that we live and breathe our businesses. We adopt the mindset that the more effort and time we put in, the closer we get to reaching our goals. Goals like building a steady network of clients, hiring team members to lessen your workload, passing your 9-5 income, opening an office space, etc.!
Striving toward your goals is key in building a successful business, but the mindset that more work = more success is DETRIMENTAL to your well-being. And I bet the reason you started your business was to have more financial and schedule freedom, not to become chained to your laptop 24/7. Good news: it’s possible (and actually more likely) to reach your goals if you take breaks from your biz. If you’ve noticed that your work has started to cannibalize your personal life, it’s a major red flag that you need to take a step back and prioritize finding balance. Today’s post covers how you can avoid burnout by establishing healthy habits such as routines, boundaries, and more.
Establish a healthy schedule.
There’s a big difference between being committed to your business and being a workaholic. The former is in full control of their biz. Whereas the latter is being controlled by their biz. If you feel like most days you’re putting out fires with no time to take a break, then it’s time to set a healthy routine.
Truth bomb: your health is more important than your business. When you take care of yourself first, you’ll be more productive and energetic during your working hours. To create a healthy schedule, think about what you want your ideal workday to look like.
Your ideal workday could include: morning walks, dedicated journal time, breakfast with your kids, afternoon yoga, a set time to close your laptop for the evening, and so on. Everyone’s ideal workday will look extremely personalized to themselves, these examples are purely to get the ball rolling. Write down what you’d like your schedule to look like.
After you’ve identified your ideal workday, start to incorporate each individual item one-at-a-time into your daily routine. By slowly switching up your schedule, you’re making a commitment to sticking to your new, healthier routine.
Learn to say “no.”
It’s a challenging concept for small business owners to learn: how to say NO. Seriously. When I first started my business, I said yes to every single opportunity that came across my path, even if it didn’t make sense for my bottom line. If you’ve been stretching yourself too thin with too much on your plate, it’s time to put your foot down. Trust me, it’ll be hard at first but you’ll thank yourself later! Think of it this way: if you don’t establish boundaries for yourself, you’ll never be able to productively work towards your overall goals. Your business needs you to be selective in what you say “yes” to. Remember, if it’s not a “hell yes!” then it’s a “no.”
Make peace with “good enough.”
Unfortunately, we simply can’t put 110% into everything we do. Although we’d like to believe that we can! When we always operate at maximum capacity, it’s a surefire way to stage 5 burnout. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to phone it in. There will be projects and tasks where you’ll need to give it your best. Elevate your tasks by asking yourself: what’s the minimum I need to do to achieve the outcome that I want? Once that’s identified, you’ll know when you’ve reached good enough, and when it’s time to move on to a more pressing task.
Taking a quick 5 minute break every hour can make a huge difference to your productivity levels. It’s easy to set an alarm on your phone for 55 minutes of work time, and 5 minutes of pure relaxation time. While this tip will help break up your average workday, it’s not the only solution I want you to consider. Sometimes you need to take an actual vacation. I’m talking no work, all play (and bonus points if it’s somewhere outside/in the sunshine). If the thought of disconnecting from your business freaks you out, let me put it this way: your biz will suffer if you continue to work through the burnout. By disconnecting and taking a break, you’ll come back to your business refreshed and motivated.
Let’s say that you’ve implemented everything we’ve talked about, but are unsure if it’s actually working. One of the best things you can do for finding balance is to practice constant assessment.
Constant assessment requires you to take a step back and give an objective look at how your days and weeks are going. At the end of the day, ask yourself if you were able to work towards your goals or if you feel like your tasks pushed you further away from you goals? At the end of each week, ask yourself if the week, as a whole, was effective? Can you identify what made your week successful, or what tasks hindered you? By constantly assessing your time and habits, it’ll allow you to identify what patterns or systems are working for you.
Burnout can happen to anyone. If you’re starting to feel yourself slip into that gray zone, now is the time to intervene and find balance in your life. Once you’ve set your path straight and established a healthy routine, you’ll be much more capable at handling stress and creating balance in your biz.